American arrested after using officials’ names to solicit cash in Cebu City


American National Arrested After Using Officials’ Names To Solicit Cash in Cebu City – Photograph of Vice Governor Magpale –

An American was arrested for collecting money inside San Nicolas, Cebu City on Thursday.

54-year-old Johnny David Betts was arrested after showing a solicitation letter that had a stamp from the Office of the Vice Governor and the Office of the Cebu City Vice Mayor on it.


The unauthorised letter was neither approved by Mayor Edgardo Labella or Vice Governor Angnes Magpale – this according to the police investigation into the matter by Station 11, Cebu City Police Office.

The American was arrested at the Shopwise Supermarket on North Bacalso Ave. after the mall’s security caught him at 4pm on Thursday.

Police say they need a formal complaint before they can file charges against Betts, however the police are contemplating on whether to file charges of usurpation of authority against him.


Betts was brought to the Office of the Vice Governor at the Capitol yesterday to be presented in front of Magpale and Capitol reporters.

Magpale told reporters that she is in fact filing a charge of swindling against Betts.

Betts will be charged with violation of Article 316 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines. 

Magpale admitted that Betts came to her office on September 21, but she was not there to answer to his visit.

Magpale’s office received his letter asking for her help – the letter is supposedly the same one asking for solicitations.

On October 1, Magpale also said she received a call from Shopwise asking her if she authorised Betts to solicit funds. She denied this, and the market house detective arrested Betts and turned him over to Mambaling Police.

The vice governor’s office will also check if Betts’ stay in the country is legal.

Betts originally came to the Philippines and stayed for awhile in Tangub City in Misamis Occidental. He is originally from Las Vegas, Nevada.

He was married and while living abroad he sent money to his wife to support her and the children’s needs – he was expecting an easy retirement or life while living in the Philippines upon his return.

But things didn’t work out as planned, Betts returned in January this year and discovered his wife had left him – taking with her their three children.

Betts sought help from the American Embassy but his issues were not something the embassy could deal with – so he turned to the vice governor for help.

Charges are currently being filed against the American while he is being detained at the Mambaling Police Station, Cebu City.

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